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Thursday, 12 July 2012

It's Love I'm After - Star of the month... Olivia de Havilland

"I think I'm going to scream!... I'm sure I'm going to scream!... *SCREAM*"

It's Love I'm After is a 1937 screwball comedy, directed by Archie Mayo, and starring Bette Davis, Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland. The supporting cast features Eric Blore, Patric Knowles, Spring Byington, Bonita Granville and George Barbier.

Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland
as Basil, Joyce and Marcia
In the first nine minutes of the film, Davis and Howard as actors Joyce Arden and Basil Underwood re-create the final scene from 'Romeo and Juliet' as part of a stage production. Although their onstage wisecracks and insults are funny, they are bound to offend any serious thespian. Although the acting pair love each other deeply, they often quarrel off the stage.

Romantic complications arise when Basil meets starstruck heiress Marcia West, who has developed a strong, yet obsessive crush on him. Marcia's fiancee Henry Grant (played by Patric Knowles) enlists Basil, accompanied by his trusty butler Digges (played by Blore), to behave badly around Marcia, with the hope this will end her infatuation. As a result, Joyce (unaware of the charade) begins to display her jealously.

Did you know...

The film's title card

  • This was the third time Davis and Howard were paired in a film - they had previously appeared together in 'Of Human Bondage' and 'The Petrified Forest'
  • Bette Davis had initially declined the role of Joyce Arden, preferring to play Marcia West
  • Other actresses initially considered for the role of Joyce Arden include Gertrude Lawrence and Ina Claire
  • Bette Davis appears wearing the same checked-dress for the entire second half of the film
  • The screenplay was originally titled 'Gentleman After Midnight'

Closing remarks

Overall, the film is very outdated, however I still enjoyed it very much. I had very low expectation of the film, which is not only met but also exceeded. 

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